The Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) closed the M2 Motorway between Crown Interchange and Maritzburg Streets on the 28th of February 2019 for rehabilitation. The closure was necessitated by the continuous monitoring and the bridge visual conditions assessment which indicated that the structural integrity of the concrete elements was severely reduced. The safety of the Selby Bridge couldn’t be guaranteed for continuous use by motorists and thus the decision for a closure of the M2 between Crown Interchange and Maritzburg Street was necessary.

The scope of work included traffic accommodation, demolition of existing bridge elements, design and installation of jacking system on eight drop-in deck slabs (on Selby bridge only), reconstruction of bridge elements, installation of new bridge bearings and joints, milling of asphalt, durability treatment of new and old concrete, installation of new barriers and guardrails and refurbishment of existing stormwater drainage system.

Fast forward to the 1st of November 2019, the M2 Bridge was ready for use and communication had to go out to road users that the M2 Bridge will be opening. Sadmon, a social impact agency, was appointed to handle the communication of this message.

The Brief

Announce the opening of the M2 Bridge to Johannesburg road users and also thank them for their patience and support during the rehabilitation period. The brief was simple and the execution of the creative elements was simpler yet the challenge was the time given to execute the brief and organise the logistics of communicating this message and arrange activation for the event. Our logistical plans and communication had to work around the already set time-table for the official opening of the bridge and the opening of the bridge to members of the public.

Execution

The campaign was broken down into two phases. The first phase unpacked the reason why the bridge was closed and also informed motorists when it will be opened. The second phase was dedicated to thanking road users and stakeholders for their patience and support during the eight months of rehabilitation.

CHANNELS

The communication was delivered using four mediums; print, radio, digital billboards, and social media. Print adverts were published in both community newspapers and major daily newspapers. Kaya FM broadcasted live at the bride ribbon cutting ceremony. The station conducted interviews with the JRA Acting Managing Director Siyabonga Nodu, and other stakeholder over and above airing the radio spots. We recorded and flight two radio spots. The first spot announced the day of the opening of the road and the second spot thanked road users for their patience during the rehabilitation. These radio spots were flighted on Kaya, 702, 947, YFM and Power FM.

Simple but effective communication helped the M2 Bridge open without any humps. The staff and officials at Johannesburg Roads Agency celebrated months and months of hard work. On 4 November 2019, road users were back on the M2 Bridge connecting to their different destinations.

Sadmon helped JRA fulfill its mission of making mobility easy. It was another social impact story the agency was involved in. Sadmon is a social impact agency established in 2016 and is 100% black-owned. Its offices are in Marshalltown, Johannesburg. The agency is conscientious and developmental organisation that has been in existence for 13 uninterrupted years. It is registered and enjoy full membership and good standing with ACA and SACCI.